Anna and the French Kiss
(Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication: July 16th, 2013 by Speak
Page count: 372 (Paperback)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?
Five years since its first publication date and countless raving reviews later, I finally picked up Anna and the French Kiss because, well, I was in need of a fluffy read and this book did put a smile on my face!
We have Anna who is sent to a boarding school in Paris. Not only did this book seem like a light read, but the setting also intrigued me a lot. I’ve never read anything set in Paris, let alone go to the City of Light, so you can say that I was pretty ecstatic. Boy, from the description Paris sounds like a gorgeous place, with its gray-ish evenings and flickering lights at nights. <3
At first, I found Anna’s voice to be slightly peculiar because some sentences are written in caps lock. I guess to express Anna’s emotion more clearly. But still, the writing seemed weird. I don’t normally come across this much caps lock in a book. (Then again, I myself OFTEN use caps lock so I shouldn’t be saying this -_-) Fortunately, I got accustomed to it gradually and later found it to be rather endearing. I think Anna’s voice is the right mixture of lightness and bitterness, cynical and hopeful altogether.
Étienne is also a really sweet guy and I personally loved the fact that their relationship started out as friendship. They both were such good friends to each other I wish I had a guy best friend like that *dreamy sigh* Additionally, the side characters were so fun to read about, though I wish there had been more interaction between Anna and them… Just because she is the protagonist and Étienne is the love interest doesn’t mean that it’s okay to ignore the rest of the characters, you know…
However, despite being highly absorbed by this book, Anna and the French Kiss didn’t leave me with as much impact as I had expected. The thing that bugged me the most was how complicated Anna and Étienne’s relationship becomes. I enjoyed their friendship, but the evolution into “something more than friends” isn’t quite smooth in my opinion. Stuff they did is pretty messed up as well and to be utterly honest I found some of them a little hard to tolerate. Moreover, there are also unnecessary dramas with the typical high school queen bee, the misunderstandings, how Anna and Étienne weren’t mature enough to be clear about each other’s feelings…
Nevertheless, the book still ends satisfactorily, leaving me eager to start Stephanie Perkins’s other work. Anna and the French Kiss has flaws which didn’t escape me, but on the whole, it gave me a positive impression and I didn’t regret the time I spent on this book at all.